7 February 2020

Brumbies look to break Rebels hoodoo

| Michael Djordjieski
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Dan McKellar

Dan McKellar facing the media ahead of Friday’s showdown with the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: Dominic Giannini, Region Media.

The Brumbies will look to secure a 10th straight home win this Friday night when they host the Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium.

The home outfit will be looking to make it two wins from two to start the campaign after edging out the Queensland Reds 27-24 last Friday night.

However, if any team has been a thorn in coach Dan McKellars’s side, it is the Melbourne Rebels, with the Canberrans losing their last four encounters.

Last time the Brumbies tasted victory against the visitors was back in June 2017, where they ran riot in a 32-3 victory.

McKellar could not pinpoint where the team has been going wrong against the Rebels but said some changes had been made ahead of Friday’s game.

Caderyn Neville is set to make his starting debut, replacing an injured Darcy Swain.

Two potential Super Rugby debutants could also take the field for the Brumbies with 21-year-old Bayley Kuenzle and 20-year-old Nick Frost being named on the bench.

McKellar said if the team can stick to a game plan, they have every chance of prevailing.

“We have played really well in patches against them,” McKellar said.

“I think back to round four last year, but it was 19-3 at half time. We executed our plan well but went away from that so the challenge is this week that we go in with a plan and do not get bored with it.”

Looking to make GIO stadium a force once again, McKellar explained that he wants the team to concentrate on playing good football in front of a large Brumbies faithful.

“We started that last year and it is our responsibility now with a new group to continue that,” he said.

“It was a good start last week. Against top opposition in tough conditions, we managed to grind out a really tough win, which is pleasing. It isn’t always going to be pretty.

“We have parked the Reds now and we have a whole lot of respect for the Rebels and we want to make sure we put on a good performance for our supporters and a bigger crowd again.”

The Brumbies will host the Rebels this Friday at GIO Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:15 pm.

Team list: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Murray Douglas, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Solomone Kata, 15. Tom Banks

Substitutes: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. James Slipper, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Will Miller, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Andy Muirhead

Brumbies vs Rebels at GIO Stadium 7 February at 7:15 pm. Get your tickets here.

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